Here's a roundup of who the national media are picking in today's Eagles-49ers game:
SI.com's Peter King likes the Eagles, 26-20:
Sorely tempted to pick the Niners, because I don't know how long Mike Vick is going to play, and the Niners are plus-six in turnover differential, best in the league. Eagles had best be taking this one seriously.
Bill Simmons of Grantland likes the Eagles to cover the 9-point spread:
The Niners might be this year's Good Bad Team (a.k.a. a forgettable team that beats all the other forgettable teams). That won't help them this week, though. Here's why this line is so high: Vick or no Vick, San Fran averages 3.7 yards per play and gives up 5.0 yards per play; Philly averages 6.0 yards per play and gives up 5.5 yards. San Fran can't throw the ball at all: 505 passing yards total, no wide receiver has more than 80 yards. San Fran is built to play tight games, so if Philly blows it open, literally, there's no way San Fran can come back unless Ted Ginn starts ripping off kick returns. I'm laying the nine. Cautiously.
All eight ESPN experts are picking the Eagles.
It's not a pick, but John Czarnecki of FoxSports.com writes about Michael Vick's post-game comments about the officials last week:
Some thought that Vick, with his complaints against the officiating crews, was turning his lack of protection on his many hits into a racial issue. Every crew will be judged now by the Eagles and their fans, who will be demanding respect for their quarterback. Vick, though, must release the ball quicker when in the pocket and simply dump it off to LeSean McCoy and TE Brent Celek.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com likes the Eagles in a close one, 23-19:
Mike Kafka, Jamar Chaney, Moise Fokou, Casey Matthews, Brian Rolle — ladies and gentlemen, please meet your “DREAM TEAM 2011 Philadelphia Eagles!” OK, it’s easy to poke fun at the team with the biggest targets on their backs this week, especially when Nnamdi Asomugha — hyped as a Deion Sanders/Champ Bailey caliber cornerback all summer — got absolutely outplayed by someone named Victor Cruz on Sunday. The amazing thing is that this upcoming stretch was expected to be the Eagles’ soft spot of the schedule: the Niners at home, followed by road trips to Buffalo and Washington. Now? They’ll be fortunate to win two of those. I think Philly finds a way over the offensively inept and road-weary 49ers in an ugly one on Sunday, but it’ll be anything but easy.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com predicts a 33-16 Eagles victory:
This is a second consecutive long trip for the 49ers after playing at Cincinnati last week. They aren't sure if Mike Vick will play, but I get the impression he will. If he does, the Eagles should put up points on offense, even against a 49ers unit that is fourth in scoring. If Vick can't go, look for a low-scoring game. I think he plays, and I think the Eagles win big.
Albert Breer of NFL.com goes with the Eagles, 31-20:
LeSean McCoy told me he thinks it'll take one really good afternoon to kick the Eagles' supersonic offense into gear. This is the week, against a good Niners defense, that it happens.
All four Yahoo Sports experts pick the Eagles.
All three Wall Street Journal writers like the 49ers to cover the 9-point spread:
The Eagles are 1-2, but they have outscored their opponents this season by a single point. The numbers may eventually prove to be useless, however, because Michael Vick is such an unknown. Two weeks removed from a concussion and playing with a bruised bone in his hand, Vick could be hurt, woozy and tentative throughout the game. (Or he could be Michael Vick.) A few more losses to teams they should be beating soundly, and the Eagles start approaching Mets territory: where a team of high-priced players fails to gel and becomes a bumbling mess.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times goes with the Eagles, 30-14:
The Eagles have the receivers to draw the 49ers into a shootout, and that could present problems for a young San Francisco line trying to contain Cullen Jenkins and Jason Babin (four sacks each).
As always, I'll be chatting live from the Linc at 1 so join me then for updates and commentary.
And if you missed my 10 things to know about the Eagles-49ers matchup, click here.
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